Fourth US-ROK-Japan Trilateral Strategic Dialogue

Note: Event times are displayed in your local time zone. The dialogue took place from June 20-21, 2017 (Maui time), with an opening dinner on June 19.

Participant List

Session 1: Assessing the North Korean threat
How does each country assess the North Korean threat? Be as specific as possible, differentiating between conventional, biological, chemical, nuclear, and cyber threats. How is each threat changing? How does your government prioritize those threats and the best responses to them? Against which threats is trilateral cooperation most effective? What more needs to be done to make defense or deterrence stronger against each threat? Our Korean speaker and participants should also address whether these assessments have been or are likely to change with the new government in Seoul.

ROK presenter: Jina Kim
US presenter: Kevin Shepard
Japan presenter: Hideshi Tokuchi

Session 2: “A strategic game-changer”?
A North Korean nuclear warhead successfully miniaturized and capable of being mounted on an ICBM is frequently referred to as “a strategic game-changer.” What do we mean by that phrase? Is that the proper characterization of this capability? Why or why not? How long will it be until Pyongyang has this capability? How does this capability fit into the North Korean strategic tool kit? What can we do individually, as alliances and as a trilateral group, to minimize the impact of this capability? How can or will China react?

US Presenter: Elaine Bunn

Tabletop exercise (TTX): Round One
Groups get exercise, prepare answers to questions

Round One Assessment
Plenary reconvenes to provide answers to questions and how each group reached those conclusions. After each presentation, the group is questioned by others on process and outcome.

Tabletop Exercise: Round Two
Reconvene in plenary to receive scenario and then disperse to breakout rooms.

Round Two Assessment

Session 3: Assessing the TTX
This session critically examines the outcomes of the TTX, focusing on expectations among all players, especially as identified in Session 2. What divergences among countries were revealed? How did responses differ from expectations? What are the key lessons learned from this exercise? What differences are there between this year’s TTX and last year’s?

Session 4: Next Steps
What should be done to close those gaps, to move trilateral cooperation forward, as well as next steps for Pacific Forum and this DTRA process.